Last Sunday night I made it down here to Pisco, Peru, the hardest hit area after a major 8.0 earthquake struck the region August 15th. This is a blast to let you all know I am safe, well-fed (amazingly so, thanks to the generostity of the locals here in the community), have easy internet access (not even 3 blocks from the Hands On House), but cold, oh so cold. It is going to take some time for my body to adjust to the cold nights and mornings (thank goodness we are going into summer here in the southern hemisphere or I do not know how I would survive), since I have been in South East Asia the last 11 months. BRRRRRR....
Here is a link to what actually happened here in Pisco. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_Peru_earthquake.
It is dusty, dirty and hard work shoveling debris and hauling it out onto the streets, but if we do not do it, who will? We have received some help from the locals, in terms of picking up a shovel or a pick axe and "going to town," others seem to offer us help in a different way -- they feed us. Sometimes it is a huge bag of juicy oranges. One time we received three squashed bags of sliced white bread. Many large water bottles, bottles of soda or Inca Cola (the local bright yellow, very sweet soda drink-- a local delicacy but a bit hard to stomach) and little plastic cups just "show up" at the job sites by appreciative home owners. Sometimes we are "forced " to eat an entire meal, when we have just come back from lunch at our Hands On base, where two lovely ladies cook two meals a day for us. The generosity and kindness of the locals is pretty amazing.
Keep your eyes out on youtube for an awesome video from one of our volunteers, Bill Driscoll. He has been here only a few days and has already put together a 4 minute video on the disaster here in Pisco. It should be aired on youtube within the next few days I suspect. We watched it tonight and boy was it well put together! I will send the link as soon as I know it is on the site.
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